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Thread: Why the difference....identical honing, different feel between razors

  1. #11
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    I routinely hone many new Dovo and TI razors. They are all ground differently, similar but different. Even the steel is different, some harder that other. And if you compare Vintage Dovo and TI’s to modern made razors, night, and day…

    Very few are ground perfectly, evenly, and fewer are straight after heat treat. Even though few are perfect, they all can be honed and take an edge, they just take an individual approach.

    Any variable, no matter how minute can affect the edge. Remember the actual cutting edge cannot be seen without an SEM scope. So, any variable will/can affect the result.

    Again, you must do what the razor needs. In the case of the Wingen, it needs repair to be honed properly.

  2. #12
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    While bevel angle can make a difference, most commonly with Gold Dollar type razors or vintage razors with hone wear.

    But I have never measured a bevel angle, of all the razors I have ever honed.

    If it has massive hone wear or will not hold an edge, I add a layer of tape or just a micro bevel with an added layer of tape Electrical, Kapton or even Scotch Tape.

    It just is not as big a deal as is made out to be. If it will not hold an edge, add a layer of tape, problem solved.

  3. #13
    Senior Member blabbermouth PaulFLUS's Avatar
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    That's another good search. Euclid440 has a good write up on heel correction somewhere.
    As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. PR 27:17

  4. #14
    Senior Member blabbermouth PaulFLUS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Euclid440 View Post
    While bevel angle can make a difference, most commonly with Gold Dollar type razors or vintage razors with hone wear.

    But I have never measured a bevel angle, of all the razors I have ever honed.

    If it has massive hone wear or will not hold an edge, I add a layer of tape or just a micro bevel with an added layer of tape Electrical, Kapton or even Scotch Tape.

    It just is not as big a deal as is made out to be. If it will not hold an edge, add a layer of tape, problem solved.
    Well, maybe more is made out of it than what there is to it but let's also not forget Marty that your experience at honing is much greater than a lot of people's so it is much easier for you to add a layer of tape and do it on the fly. I'm not trying to be a smart aleck or pepper the gumbo, I'm trying to throw you a compliment. I'm just saying that sometimes we forget that things that are second nature in our area of expertise may not be quite as apparent to someone else. I have people call me from all over the state to do door repairs, a lot of which is hinge alignment to straighten the door in the opening and get rid of rubs and binds by use of technical stuff which I won't bore you with but, often at the base level using shims. It basically works on lever principle. There is an equation that you can use. Some people I have trained have to use the equation. I never do. I just eyeball it and it seems so simple to me that it's amazing that anyone has to use it but that's because I've been doing it for so long.
    That probably sounds like bragging, it sorta does to me, but the point is that in my area of expertise it is easy to forget that not everyone can conceptualize that discipline. I know I tend to get frustrated by it which is wrong. Not saying that's what you're doing just that you know the adjustment off the top of your head maybe more than you even realize. I have tried to train people in my field that I had to let go because they just couldn't grasp the concept. For me to adjust bevel angle to any quantifiable degree more than throwing spaghetti at the wall I would have to use an equation because I'm a honing dumbass
    planeden likes this.
    As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. PR 27:17

  5. #15
    High Priest of Low Budget Shaving CrescentCityRazors's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulFLUS View Post
    Very good advice above. Also add into that bevel angle. Are you taping the spine... How much tape? Is there hone wear? How thick is the spine? There are lots of variables that affect this. Razors are in a way similar to blues music. It seems so simple but in that simplicity lies a hidden complexity. The geometry of a razor has to be so precise for it to perform at the level that we expect. There are good threads on here about bevel angle which you can check and adjust with tape etc, etc. I think DVW or maybe crescentcityrazors posted one someplace (Maybe one of you guys can add a link) but a very oversimplified answer to that is a four to one ratio width to spine thickness.
    I would also consider 3k as being more of a mid level stone. For my 2 worth If you are going to get a 1K, which would be my suggestion to have regardless of what else you have, I would consider possibly a King or a Sharpton over a Nortonas the Norton that I have has a tendency to make edges a little chippy sometimes. You can work around it by keeping the stone cleaned and dressed properly but why add more variables?
    I agree that bevel angle is an important factor. Forgot to mention that, but it kind of comes under the "grind" heading, anyway. I have posted at length regarding tape and bevel angle on another forum and there are articles on my growleymonster dot com site. My already well-known views on this are extremely controversial here on this forum and I don't feel like arguing so I will decline for now, in regard to posting on the subject. Some time in the future, maybe. When it doesn't seem like I am just repeating what I recently posted all over again.

    Since moving production to Mexico some time ago, I find Nortons to be very inconsistent not only from one stone to another, but even within one stone. Sometimes aggressive lapping will take the surface down into more consistent composition. Sometimes not. I really do not like them much these days, and I put them in the same quality category as King, Bear Moo, etc except that they cost more. I like the low grit Shaptons and the Naniwa as well, both the SS and the Chosera. The SS seems to dish out more quickly than the Kuromoku or the Chosera but it almost never chips an edge. The red resin type sandpaper, glued to a suitable plate, makes an excellent cheap single use bevel setter. At least you know it is flat. And you get any grit you want. Following sandpaper with a lapped SuperStone gives a pretty nice bevel. I like lapping film for the progression but I can take it or leave it for bevel setting. YMMV on all that and I do not profess to be particularly unbiased.
    Pretty don't shave. Sharp shaves.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulFLUS View Post
    That's another good search. Euclid440 has a good write up on heel correction somewhere.
    I found this one a little while ago. I remember when he told me I need to reshape the heel and I thought "oh crap, that is probably way over my head" and then read this and it seemed a lot less daunting. That said, I got the stones out and picked up one of the blades to scrape on it, noticed the heel and put it back. So, apparently still a little daunting.

    https://sharprazorpalace.com/honing/...ml#post1714002

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulFLUS View Post
    Well, maybe more is made out of it than what there is to it but let's also not forget Marty that your experience at honing is much greater than a lot of people's so it is much easier for you to add a layer of tape and do it on the fly.
    I am not disagreeing with your overall point. However, I read this angle thing and thought then why am I bothering. His fix for everything seems to be to increase the angle. So, for the razor I just measured and was concerned that adding tape was taking it over the 20 deg number. Although, Euclid may eyeball it and add thinner tape on this one, so WTF do I know. No need to be rude, it's rhetorical .

    Woodscavenger: One thing to note, if you do start to think about bevel angles, razor people measure them different from everything else. Basically, it is double the normal definition.
    If you're wondering I'm probably being sarcastic.

  7. #17
    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    You guys are making this, way more complicated than it needs to be. 99 percent of vintage razors honed by new honers, that will not shave, is simply because the bevel was never fully set.

    If the heel is in need of correction/ reshaping,(to move the corner of the edge well forward of the stabilizer), so it can be honed without touching the stabilizer the heel half of the edge will not touch the stone.

    Five minutes on a diamond stone or file will remove this issue completely. Recently I looked at the first dozen razors for sale in the BST with stabilizers, all of them needed heel correction.

    Most of the razor I hone, even new razors, probably 80 percent, need and I perform some heel correction. For most it is literally just a few swipes with a diamond file.

    Less than 1-2 percent of the razors I hone have a bevel angle so acute from spine wear that they will not hold an edge. And when they will not hold an edge, I simply add a layer of tape. It is almost a non-issue.

    Now, Chinese razors usually have too thick of a spine and the angle is too obtuse and will not shave well. I simply measure a vintage razor of about the same blade width and grind the Chinese razor to about that thickness on a diamond plate, then hand sand the spine smooth and hone.

    Again, it is almost a non-issue, I have not honed a Chinese razor in over a year. If you are modifying and hone Chinese razors you will be doing a lot of spine thinning, but it is not a complicated issue to resolve.

    Bevel angle is a non-issue. Learn to recognize when the bevels are meeting, simply by looking down on the edge. If you see any shiny reflections, the bevels are not meeting.

    Which stone you use does not matter, I probably have 6-7 1k stones from different makers and I usually use a $20 King 1k, that I bought at a flea market for a dollar.

    Spend your time learning to fully set a bevel and all the drama will go away.
    gssixgun, Gasman and planeden like this.

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    The Hurdy Gurdy Man thebigspendur's Avatar
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    Maybe a bad analogy but you could go and buy a car and I can buy the same exact make and model, same year, same options, same color maybe even one off a parallel production line and mine lasts 250,000 miles with just routine service and you get a lemon. You can buy the same razor x2 and they will feel totally different.

    The more hand operations items have the more variability they will have. Now add different makers and materials and the moods and abilities of workers on a given day and well you get the idea.

    The same applies to you when you work on different razors. There are so many variables affecting the outcome.
    Speedster likes this.
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    Great responses all! thanks.

    I see I need to up my stone budget. I did pick up a King 1k/6K today. Add it to the growing list of tools.

    Back to the beginning with resetting the bevels. The idea that I may never have uncovered clean steel at the edge makes sense. Would it be heretical to stand the blade perpendicular to a stone and run the edge along the stone to get down to clean, consistent metal?

    I will work on the heel on the Wingen. It was amazing that it took me a while to find a diagram showing the “stabilizer”. Most diagrams leave that out.

  10. #20
    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodscavenger View Post
    Great responses all! thanks.

    I see I need to up my stone budget. I did pick up a King 1k/6K today. Add it to the growing list of tools.

    Back to the beginning with resetting the bevels. The idea that I may never have uncovered clean steel at the edge makes sense. Would it be heretical to stand the blade perpendicular to a stone and run the edge along the stone to get down to clean, consistent metal?

    I will work on the heel on the Wingen. It was amazing that it took me a while to find a diagram showing the “stabilizer”. Most diagrams leave that out.

    maybe when the Plague ends we can have another skills Meet Up for the WA ID MT guys we used to do them every year in Spokane

    It would take me 10 minutes to teach you how to correct stuff like that in person
    "No amount of money spent on a Stone can ever replace the value of the time it takes learning to use it properly"
    Very Respectfully - Glen

    Proprietor - GemStar Custom Razors Honing/Restores/Regrinds Website

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